Jared Hunt of the Charleston Daily Mail has a well-timed article on internet rumor-mongering. West Virginia fans have been clogging Twitter with rumors of WVU heading to the SEC, despite the facts that adding West Virginia would make little sense for the SEC and that the Mountaineers recently voted to increase the Big East exit fee.
These supposed soothsayers go by user names like "mexman" or "EERHole," speak in obscure riddles or Nostradamus-like quatrains, and purport to have the ear of university higher-ups ...
The realignment talk started just a few days after Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they were leaving the Big East.
The first prognostication came from someone called "Luke444," who said he knew for a fact that WVU had been accepted by the SEC, and it was going to be announced at 4 p.m. the following Tuesday.
That Tuesday came and went.
There's only so much criticism one can dish out to these folks without risking sounding like an MSM type screaming at bloggers to get off his lawn, but I can't remember a time when I more frequently found myself thinking, "Well, yeah ... but who is that?" Even in our new media climate, credibility has to be earned, and it seems like there are a lot of people out there who really enjoy the few hours of attention they can get from spreading a false rumor that people really want to believe is true. That's not just confined to WVU fans, of course, but the WVU-to-the-SEC rumors have so far been a great example. Next time you hear that WVU is switching conferences, wait until it's reported by someone who has something to lose if he or she is wrong. Then retweet it.